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Germany, 1994 – Der Berg Ruft (The Mountain Calls…) by German band K2 is one of those videos that provokes discussion about cultural appropriation vs. cultural homage.
Several factors contribute to the existence of this epileptic video: the rise of Alpine folk dance music bands like Edelweiss (from Austria) who sampled yodeling, dressed up in lederhosen and generally pioneered the fusion of the Middle European ethnic look with club attire. Included in the above is the very conspicuous presence of “Jamaican” references, appropriated by K2 and countless other Eurodance acts in the 90s, molded here haphazardly into the Alpine setting. The blond dreads and lyrics describing a “Rasta from Jamaica…Bob Marley…and the Israelites” in faux patios, can only lead to the assumption that the rapper is addressing other blond rastas. But K2 added several layers of stylistic randomness, my favorite ingredient of all, by installing S&M leather (a very Germanic option) and American denim alongside the Alpine and fake Jamaican situations. Not to mention tossing in a belly dancing outfit to make it more interesting… An arbitrary, albeit slightly deranged, collection of looks colluding on top of an MDMA-laced, multi-culti mountain trip. And who can resist the line, “All I want is dancing wid you baby”? That tiny songstress is a vision of John Waters proportions: a denim, Alpine, S&M, belly dancing icon of the 90s.